Expedition or Accord on summer vacation to Colorado?

My husband and I are finally taking a roadtrip to Colorado without the kids! We are driving there and back from Arkansas, and while there will be spending time in Colorado Springs, Breckenridge, and Estes Park. 30 years ago when traveling there as a teenager I got the impression that a car with a larger and more powerful engine was preferable to smaller ones on steep mountain roads, and also when stuck following slow vehicles like RV’s up some of the steep roads at high altitude. We own a 2003 Ford Expedition (yes I know it would be more expensive to take) and a 2007 4 cylinder Accord. Can anyone tell me if the Accord is well-suited to this trip, or should we take the larger car? Thanks!!

The accord should do fine, and it will cost a lot less to drive. There are plenty of smaller “economy cars” used everyday in the mountains.

Unless you have some outlandish luggage requirements, I’m with Craig.

Enjoy your trip!

Ditto to Craig’s post. 2007 Accord seems to be ‘no problem’. I’m around 9,000’ and a few people that I knoew around here with any of the newer and smaller vehicles have no problems. Remember fuel injection. Not as prone to altitude as carburetors or T.B.I.s. My S.O.'s '89 Toyota Corolla All-Trac with 4A-FE engine has always gotten somewhere between 24-28 MPG. It’s always lower when she runs the air but that’ll happen with any auto. If your vehicle is a standard tranny, then just put it in a lower gear if it starts “lugging”. If it’s an auto trans., it should choose the proper gear on its own. My Olds Cutlass Ciera 3.3L “poor man’s Cadillac” w/ fuel injection gets 24-29 MPG, again depending on A.C. usage and whether I’m going down to the city, or coming back up to home. Our fuel-injected vehicle’s mileage is not noticeably affected, but my T.B.I. '92 GMC van, '71 L-6, A.C. WD-45 farm tractor, and any other carbureted equipment is noticeably affected because of the altitude.

No matter what time of the year, in the mountains, you should always carry WARM CLOTHING. At my place, on 4th of July weekend one year, I had a bunch of folks come up for the weekend. Most slept in a moving van trailer (Red Ball, as a matter of fact with the tractor, Peterbuilt w/ sleeper cab), when those folks started getting up around 6:30 AM or so, they stepped down/out of the ‘box’ into three inches of white ‘wet-heavy’ on 4th of July morning! It is recorded that somewhere in Colorado, there have been measurable accumulations of snow every day of the year–though not everyday in the same year. So come prepared.

One other oddity. Regular unleaded is 85 octane. Altitude adjustments, I guess, but it runs anything as well as any 87 or 88 octane does. Welcome to Colorado and enjoy your trip immensely!

Thank you! Summers in Arkansas are HOT so that’s exactly the weather forecast we are hoping for.

I’m in total accord with everyone else. Roads have greatly improved in the last 30 years. Go, Accord, go!

Both are fine. I would go with what you are most comfortable with over at least a 2000 mile roundtrip. The Accord will give you at most 10mpg better that is about it.

The Accord is perfect for 2 people for that trip! It has a large enough TRUNK (hard to steal from), is economical, quiet, easy to park, etc. Don’t worry about the mountains in the summer; the grades are not all that steep.

Thanks for all the votes for the Accord! I’m happy to know it will be up to the task and we won’t have to pay out the wazoo for gas for the bigger SUV.

If it’s just you two then the Accord will do nicely. If it’s more than two people, then take the Expedition. That being said. A few years ago, myself and my buddy went to Bristol,TN for a NASCAR race, we were able to score an unused house to have for the weekend. We also filled my Bronco with amount of stuff that probably would not have fit in a mid-sized sedan. So you will want to consider how much luggage you’re bringing.